Within the FIDM Museum collection are a number of smaller mini-collections. Some, like the Rudi Gernreich Archive, consist of large groupings of objects that document the work of a specific designer. Others, like our photograph collection, are less focused groupings of objects collected to help us interpret fashion history. One of my favorite mini-collections is our collection of paper sewing patterns. In addition to their entertaining envelope illustrations, sewing patterns are a valuable source of fashion information because they help us understand how high fashion or runway garments are interpreted for the mass market. This is particularly true for patterns associated with known designers. They can also point to the social context of specific garments or styles. Because many patterns are copyrighted, they can be very useful in dating extant garments. Sewing patterns also allow us the opportunity to engage with fashion on a very personal level. With a bit of practice and patience, any sewer can create a custom-designed garment demonstrating either a highly individual sense of style or one perfectly attuned to the latest runway fashions.